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Iteere meets commanders ahead of Ocampo announcement

By | Dec 15th 2010 | 2 min read


Security chiefs were put on alert to beef up security ahead of naming today of six people the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court wants indicted.

Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere chaired a meeting of a section of his commanders in his office to discuss intelligence that indicated some leaders were organising demonstrations after the names are revealed this afternoon.

Intelligence reports showed some leaders, especially in parts of Rift Valley Province, plan to hold street protests if and once a person they view as their own is named among those Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo wants to be indicted.

Rift Valley PC Osman Warfa and PPO Francis Munyambu told The Standard security measures had been put in place to ensure peace despite the protests.

Rallying supporters

"We are informed some leaders have been rallying supporters to demonstrate as soon as certain political figures are named as suspected masterminds of the 2007 post-election bloodbath, but we are on the ground," said Mr Munyambu.

Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe urged whoever wants to hold a demo to do it within the allowed rules, adding security measures were in place to ensure peace.

Details of Iteere’s meeting remained scanty, but insiders said the indicators of possible protests occasioned it.

Iteere, however, termed the meeting a routine one, adding he did not expect anything extraordinary after Ocampo announcement.

He said security had been beefed to required standards.

"No one should cite the Constitution as the license for him or her to cause disharmony. We are on the ground to ensure peace," he said.

The leaders who have been cited to be mobilising their supporters include MPs and councillors.

We established that more security personnel had been sent to the affected areas in anticipation.

Police were blamed of laxity during the 2007/8 violence, leading to deaths and destruction of property in some areas.

Winner of elections

They were accused of having ignored intelligence warnings that violence could break out after the winner of the elections was announced.

Violence broke out soon after the Electoral Commission of Kenya (now defunct), announced President Kibaki had won the presidential race.

Interestingly, police are part of those being investigated by the ICC following the violence that they were supposed to contain.

Various reports pointed an accusing finger at the law enforcement agency, saying it applied excessive force and blames it for most of the deaths that occurred during the mayhem.

There have been calls from different political quarters calling for suspension of the ICC process with the argument that there was possibility of violence if some personalities are linked with the post-election violence.

Others have claimed the ICC process has been infiltrated by political interests looking to get rid of key presidential contenders in the 2012 General Election.

The prosecutor, however, said during his recent visit to the country that he was neither investigating the elections nor the political dynamics but crimes against humanity that he believed were committed in Kenya from December 2007.

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